Latvia and Ukraine blacklist actor in ‘The Bridge’ remake (1)
Latvia and Ukraine have blacklisted Russian actor Mikhail Porechenkov, who will play one of the lead roles in a version of the crime drama television series 'The Bridge' set on the Narva River bridge between Estonia and Russia.
The show, commissioned by Russian television channel NTV, will star Mikhail Porechenkov as an investigator from the eastern side of the border, and Lithuanian actress Ingeborga Dapkunaite as his Estonian counterpart.
The show is scheduled to come out in 2017. Weit Media, part of MasterChef maker Endemol Shine, are producing it. The original edition of "The Bridge" was made by Swedish Filmlance International, today owned by Endemol, working with Danish counterpart Nimbus Film.
The producers behind "The Bridge" said they prefer working with partners on both sides of the border, and discussions are ongoing for a broadcaster on the Estonian side to air the new show, the Guardian reported.
Ukraine banned Porechenkov from entering the country after a video posted online in 2014 that shows him shooting a machine gun at the positions of Ukrainian soldiers in Eastern Ukraine, wearing a helmet saying "PRESS." The actor later dismissed the firing of the machine gun as a “salute”.
Acting on the request of the country’s Ministry of Culture, the National Security Service, and the Union of Cinematographers, the Ukrainian National Film Agency in 2014 banned all films and series featuring Porechenkov.
Latvia blacklisted Porechenkov the same year for expressing support for the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic.
A spokesperson for the Estonian Interior Ministry told the Baltic News Service on Tuesday that Estonia had not blacklisted Mikhail Porechenkov. Estonia would consider imposing an entry ban on Porechenkov should he express the wish to come to Estonia, the spokesperson added.
A native of St. Petersburg, Porechenkov attended the Soviet Army Construction Forces’ Higher Political School in Tallinn at the end of the 1980s.
Porechenkov became famous after his lead role as FSB Agent Alexey Nikolayev in the TV series "National Security Agent" (1999–2005). In 2008, Porechenkov produced, directed and starred in “D-Day”, a Russian remake of the 1985 American action film “Commando". He also played in the television series “Liquidation”, “Issayev”, and “Spetsnaz”.
The original "The Bridge”, set on the border between Sweden and Denmark, is set to return for a fourth series. The show has proved popular internationally, attracting an average of 1.5 million viewers on BBC4 in the UK and becoming the channel's top-rated show in 2014.